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Phrases, Proverbs, etc.

A bloody heart. Since the time of Good Lord James the Douglases have carried upon their shields a bloody heart with a crown upon it, in memory of the expedition of Lord James to Spain with the heart of King Robert Bruce. King Robert commissioned his friend to carry his heart to the Holy Land, and Lord James had it enclosed in a silver casket, which he wore round his neck. On his way to the Holy Land, he stopped to aid Alphonso of Castile against Osmyn the Moor, and was slain. Sir Simon Lockhard of Lee was commissioned to carry the heart back to Scotland. (Tales of a Grandfather, xi.)

After my own heart. Just what I like; in accordance with my liking or wish: the heart being the supposed seat of the affections.

Be of good heart. Cheer up. In Latin, “Fac, bono animo sis;” the heart being the seat of moral courage.

Out of heart. Despondent; without sanguine hope. In Latin, “Animum despondere.” In French, “Perdre courage.”

Set your heart at rest. Be quite easy about the matter. In French, “Mettez votre cœur à lʹaise.” The heart is the supposed organ of the sensibilities (including the affections, etc.).

To break one’s heart. To waste away or die of disappointment. “Broken-hearted,” hopelessly distressed. In French, “Cela me fend le cœur.” The heart is the organ of life.

To learn by heart. To learn memoriter; to commit to memory. In French, “Par cœur” or “Apprendre par cœur.” (See Learn.)

To set one’s heart upon. Earnestly to desire it. “Je lʹaime de tout mon cœur;” the heart being the supposed seat of the affections.

Take heart. Be of good courage. Moral courage at one time was supposed to reside in the heart, physical courage in the stomach, wisdom in the head, affection in the reins or kidneys, melancholy in the bile, spirit in the blood, etc. In French, “prendre courage.”

To take to heart. To feel deeply pained [at something which has occurred]. In Latin, “Percussit mihi animum;” “iniquo animo ferre.” In French, “Prendre une affaire à cœur;” the heart being the supposed seat of the affections.

To wear one’s heart upon one’s sleeve. To expose one’s secret intentions to general notice; the reference being to the custom of tying your lady’s favour to your sleeve, and thus exposing the secret of the heart. Iago says, “When my outward action shows my secret heart, I will wear my heart upon my sleeve, as one does a lady’s favour, for daws [? dows, pigeons] to peck at.” Dows = fools, or simpletons to laugh at or quiz. (Othello, i. 1.)

With all my heart. “De tout mon cœur;” most willing. The heart, as the seat of the affections and sensibilities, is also the seat of the will.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Head over Heels (To turn)
Heads or Tails
Heads I Win, Tails you Lose
Healing Gold
Heart-breaker (A)
Heart and Soul
Heart in his Boots
Heart in his Mouth
Heart of Grace (To take)
Heart of Hearts (In one’s)
Heart of Midlothian
Heart’s Ease